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To think that my friend should just recognise that her birth experience wasn't THAT bad?

(130 Posts)
FreddysTeddy Tue 25-Aug-09 19:12:08

Have a feeling I'll get a few YABU's wink but interested in the overall consensus.

My friend had what I would describe as a difficult birth, she had a large baby, 24 hourish labour and failed ventouse then forceps delivery.

She doesn't go on and on about it to be fair, but if the subject of childbirth comes up she always talks about how awful her experience was.

Whilst I recognise that it wasn't a walk in the park I think she slightly over-eggs how bad it was as if it was the worst thing that ever happened to her.

I've got a friend who ended up with a crash section after three days in labour and one whose little one spent 6 weeks in SCBU so I guess I just think that they are the ones who really know what traumatic births are.

LadyStealthPolarBear Tue 25-Aug-09 19:14:27

but maybe it was the worst thing that ever happened to her?
There's always someone who has had a worse experience (not just talking about labour here) but shut up talking about it isn't a helpful atitude

Thunderduck Tue 25-Aug-09 19:14:44

YABU. You didn't have her birth so you don't know what it was like for her.

And yes it could have been much worse but knowing that doesn't help her and won't make her feelings go away.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 25-Aug-09 19:14:49

look up empathy in the dictionary hmm

the whole point is a persons individual experience - she had a horrid experience for her

It's not for you to judge worse or better - well, not if you want to remain friends grin

hoxtonchick Tue 25-Aug-09 19:15:06

my first birth was almost identical to your friend's, though i was induced to begin with & ds wasn't that big (7lbs10, 3.46kg). i tend to shrug it off actually (though it was 7.5 yrs ago, things have faded....), not fun at the time, but worth it. i have diabetes & always knew i was going to have highly medicalised births (dd, 3.5 yrs later & 1lb lighter practically slippped out though!) so sucked it up really. so i agree with you!

oranges Tue 25-Aug-09 19:15:25

I don't think its a competition. Some women are genuinely horrified about the pain and loss of control, others can deal with it. She's entitled to want to talk about it.

Boobz Tue 25-Aug-09 19:15:42


notyummy Tue 25-Aug-09 19:15:56

Ummm...I know what you mean.

But on balance I still think YABU. It's a cliche but it's such a personal experience that it probably is the worse thing that ever happened to her....the fact that it isn't as bad as others will mean nothing to her as she didn't experience what they did.

I had a fairly difficult birth, culminating in a forceps delivery with no pain relief. TBH I try not to go on, and dwell on the positive - my gorgeous dd - but occasionally I may tip over into your friends territory.

jybay Tue 25-Aug-09 19:16:34

I think YABU. Having been present at a lot of deliveries, I'd rather have a crash section than a forceps delivery any time (assuming LO OK obviously). Forceps, especially without a fully functioning epidural, are really grim and are often accompanied by severe tears.

I think a forceps delivery could well be the worst thing that ever happened to her.

DottyDot Tue 25-Aug-09 19:16:45


WhatFreshHellIsThis Tue 25-Aug-09 19:17:22

If she still brings it up then maybe she needs some help to process it? It's not about how bad or good it is, objectively, it's about how you cope and deal with it afterwards.

you could try being sympathetic and listening, and suggesting she contacts the hospital to go through it with a midwife. Might help her move on.

Hulababy Tue 25-Aug-09 19:18:31

YABU. Only she can decide how bad her birth was for her.

GirlsAreLoud Tue 25-Aug-09 19:18:39

What are you supposed to say then if you've had a shitty birth experience and the subject of childbirth comes up?

Smile beatifically and pretend it was a bed of roses?

MummyElk Tue 25-Aug-09 19:21:47

how long ago was her birth? in my experience, seems like people go on about it less as time goes by (and they hear other stories to put theirs into perspective).
I don't think YABU, it's your opinion and you're entitled to it, it's just that you have a greater perspective than she does - and as others say it could have been rubbish from HER point of view.
Eventually - either from you, or others, she'll hear other stories to make her own mind up as to whether it was horrendous - that or she'll move onto another phase of her life and shut up about it!

electra Tue 25-Aug-09 19:22:05

This has made me really cross - is this a troll?? An assisted delivery sounds pretty awful to me and is something I would avoid at all costs. Nobody has the right to decide what was or wasn't traumatic for another person. angry

Ineedmorechocolatenow Tue 25-Aug-09 19:25:13

I had a pretty identical birth with DS. It was shitty. Ended up dislocating his jaw with forceps, lots of tears, couldn't BF due to jaw probs.


Maria2007 Tue 25-Aug-09 19:26:13


She's the only one who can judge whether her birth was traumatic or not! Who are you to say which births are traumatic and which aren't? Perhaps a woman needs to be at the brink of death in labour in order for her to be able to complain about it to you? hmm. If someone's being competitive here it's not her, it's you (ranking horrible births like that. Honestly).

By the way: have you had a forceps delivery yourself?

Tombliboobs Tue 25-Aug-09 19:27:47


'Whilst I recognise that it wasn't a walk in the park I think she slightly over-eggs how bad it was as if it was the worst thing that ever happened to her'

It might actually have been the worse thing that has happened to her.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 25-Aug-09 19:28:40

Message withdrawn

Acinonyx Tue 25-Aug-09 19:30:28

I had a 27 hour labour, failed epidural, then forceps and found it pretty traumatic. Forceps can be brutal and it was a year before I walked properly and really recovered. I was 'debriefed' by a nurse going over my notes but I did sometimes talk about it when mums were generally recounting their experiences. It helps.

After a while, the memory becomes less vivid. Dd is now 4 and I no longer think about it.

It's not the worst thing that ever happened to me - but purely physically it probably was (in competition with a nasty accident I once had).

I'm sure it could have been worse but hey - things can always be worse. Your friend needs to work this out of her system by going over it.

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 19:33:28

You already know YABU


GibbonInARibbon Tue 25-Aug-09 19:33:48


terramum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:34:12

YABU. It's not a competition! Compared to a lot of births it may seem not that bad to you...but compared to how she wanted the birth to go it is obviously distressing her.

I know my birth wasn't 'that bad' when I compare it to others but it was still traumatic for both DH & I and we both have trouble talking about it 5 years on.

HerBeatitude Tue 25-Aug-09 19:35:39

It is such a horrible thing to tell someone that something they feel dreadful about isn't as bad as something someone else has experienced. It doesn't stop them feeling bad about their experience, just makes them feel bad about feeling how they feel, IYSWIM, as if they don't have the right to their own feelings.


meemarsgotabrandnewbump Tue 25-Aug-09 19:40:44

YABU. Try to be more understanding.

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